Bible Reading Ideas
Liturgist: Now, there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him.
Nicodemus: Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.
Jesus: Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.
Nicodemus: How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?
Jesus: Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus: How can these things be?
Jesus: Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Videos and Songs
John 3:1–36 – Lumo (dramatic real life) https://youtu.be/oGoSGSj2XrE
Face to Face with Jesus https://engageworship.org/ideas/face-face-with-jesus-video-bible-reading
This video shows four biblical encounters with Jesus – (Nathanael, Nicodemus, the Woman at the Well and Mary) to engage with the idea of meeting Jesus “face to face” (Nicodemus is at 3:23) A reflection sheet also has questions to encourage reflection on the different reactions to Jesus. This could be used in worship or any small group setting for this week and next week
The Story of the Bible – The Bible Project (God’s Big Story) https://youtu.be/7_CGP-12AE0
Talk with Nicodemus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2jVclNhMbI
Jesus and Nicodemus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbBmpaDBizA
The Bible Project – God’s Big Story series https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/what-is-bible/
adapted from http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/01/observing-lent-and-celebrating-easter.html
- Add the word “encounter” and a pair of sandals to the worship space this week (in the desert scene or prayer wall if you have one).
- Print and cut out sandal pictures to give to people to write prayers of thanks in acknowledgement of God’s big story and encounters with Jesus that have helped them in their Journey with Jesus. They might write a whole prayer, or just name the experiences.
- Collect the sandals and either during the service or afterwards, add them to the wall.
- End with this spoken prayer:
Dear God, we thank you for the ways that you have led and guided us in your big story and given us encounters with you on our journey so far. We thank you specifically for these things that we have thought about and written. We thank you that we can encounter you and are part of your big story. We pray that you will help us remember and share your stories and our encounters with you as we encourage others to walk with you too.
Spread the Love Activity
- Read John 3:17, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
- God did not come to judge or grade us. God is more interested in loving us than judging us.
- To illustrate this point, pass out heart stickers for people to wear on the back of a hand. Invite people to stick them on a neighbor’s hand saying “God loves you” as they do.
- Put your heart somewhere you can see it, to remind you during the week that God is more interested in loving you than judging you.
Lent Journal – continued
adapted from http://seedstuff.blogspot.com/2020/02/lent-1-march-01-temptations-are-not.html
- Print the Lent Journal for each person
- Each page has a heading, the gospel reading and three questions. The rest of the page is blank for responses.
Encourage everyone to use their journal to capture their thoughts and responses to the Lent readings and reflections on Sunday and during the week as they Journey with Jesus through Lent.